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Oliver Stone's epic film which follows the real-life events of New Orleans
District Attorney Jim Garrison is a monumental movie event. It should have
been named the Best Picture of 1991 instead of The Silence of the Lambs.
Everything about this film is perfect and it shows that when an intriguing story comes together with all other elements of filmmaking that are executed brilliantly, the film works on so many levels.
First off, Stone's direction is as good as it gets. He has an incredible passion for the subject, knowledge of the art and relationship with the camera. All of his footage goes together seamlessly and makes the 3 h 08 min running time blow by. He gets a strong performance out of the entire ensemble cast especially Costner, Jones, Oldman, and Pesci.
Scalia and Hutsching's editing is a work of art and tells the complicated story with incredible precision. Richardson's cinematography lights up the screen in both colour and black and white. Both of these technical aspects of filmmaking are molded into sheer artistry by these three men who have all deserved their Oscars for this film.
John Williams' score is one of his best (right up there with his Indiana Jones and Star Wars). The script is intelligent, thought-provoking, mesmorizing and heart-wrenching. Costner's closing speech to the Jury is finer that Nicholson's in A Few Good Men, McConaughey's in A Time to Kill and Jackson's in Pulp Fiction. It is Stone and Sklar's best work.
The subject matter is incredibly controverial and subjective but Stone's delivers it with such emotion and raw power that his alternate myth to the Warren Report seems factual. The film is an investigation into the human spirit and how the vigour and dedication of one man and his team of associates can rise above the highest powers of the world and encode a message into the minds and hearts of millions. John F. Kennedy has countless achievements and qualities as a president which makes his life and term one of the most incredible and worthy of deep study.
Oliver Stone's JFK should go down in film history as one of the most important American films ever produced. Watch it with an open mind free of prejudice and predisposition and you will find yourself wanting to go to the library and learn more about this global tragedy.
In the time since I first saw the film "JFK", I have found myself
inexplicably drawn to the events in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. I
have researched online and in libraries to learn the truth of these
events, and I would say that my outlook on those matters has changed
substantially. But underneath that, and the controversy that developed
from it, there is one universal and almost indisputable truth regarding
the film: JFK is simply an excellent movie. And no difference of
opinion can refute this.
I have seen my fair share of films over the years, I'm not a cinema maniac by any means. But I think I can judge a quality product when I see one and that's simply what this picture presents. It is, as Tom Wicker of the New York Times said at it's release, propaganda; but the same can be said for every film by Michael Moore... of whom I'm NOT a fan... but they are still strong pictures.
JFK runs the difficult task of presenting fact, fiction, conjecture and opinion, twisting them all to present the increasingly difficult to dispute conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone (and according to director Oliver Stone, did not act) in the assassination of President Kennedy.
The films accomplishments though, past this controversial thesis, are many: 1.) Kevin Costner turns in one of the greatest performances of his career. While his accent is stronger than Garrison and the physical resemblance not astonishing, Costner three dimensionalizes a character and lives in it throughout the film.
2.) An impressive and versatile cast is used superbly. The film is loaded with quality stars such as Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones (in an Oscar nominated role), Gary Oldman, and Joe Pesci (who share an intense and crucial scene); as well as character actors and actresses such as Michael Rooker, Sissy Spacek, and Jay Saunders. Stone even navigates a dramatic turn from the late comedy great John Candy and utilizes Hollywood legends Ed Asner, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Donald Sutherland superbly.
3.) With the possible exception of the lone gunman theory, every possibility of truth is explored, at least in dialogue. Because the case has never been fully elaborated on no one can say for certain what the truth is; Stone presents all views while advancing his theory.
4.) The film is a masterwork of editing. It won the Oscar for film editing in 1991, and deserved it. I once read in Entertainment Weekly that a normal film has roughly 200 cuts in it; there are more than sixty in the opening minutes alone here. Even more impressive when you consider the variety of film used.
JFK is not absolute fact, it does not truly pretend to be. By Stone's own admission, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Rooker, and Kevin Bacon play composites or dramatized characters, not the real thing. But standing alone as a movie, JFK is untouchably excellent. And if it does force you to question, as Costner's Garrison asks in the closing moments "of what is our government made?", then it's all for the better.
Oliver Stone is undoubtedly one of the most controversial directors of all
time, his work has included horrifyingly real stories of Vietnam, stories
the corruption of politics and a much-despised account of Jim Morrison's
life. No matter the subject matter, Stone always gives it his all and
sometimes the world's response is positive and sometimes it's negative.
With JFK we are faced with one of his films that was probably one of his
most successful (next to Platoon of 1986). This is a rare instance in
the public loved the concept of conspiracy in their own country, and took
special interest in the debates that it caused amongst the government upon
release. The best thing about this film is that it is and was treated as
much more than a film. My honest opinion is that this response was created
not because of a more plausible theory but because of Stone's fantastic
unique job putting the story together.
The film opens on a surprisingly suspenseful scene of the murder of John F. Kennedy. The chopped style of the scene lets you know that something is not right, dramatic black and white shots spliced with the blurry grain shots of the home video taken by a witness (it won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography). This, accompanied by John Williams' excellent original score helped do an excellent job of creating a mood, just for this very first scene. Often times a director will stop after this, give it his all for style and then stop after the first scene, but Stone doesn't do this. He makes the film so much more than a boring investigation; he takes you in to each of the puzzle pieces (indeed, it feels like you're with Kevin Costner "digging" through hundreds of events.) For 90% of these clips that lace the film's concepts together, the camera is not kept steady, it is, indeed, like you are there witnessing it. The human eye doesn't only look at what is important, and a situation of trauma can make everything seem broken, confused. Oliver Stone doesn't try to make sure you understand what's going on. Some frown upon this, but it's realistic and that's what counts.
Kevin Costner plays Jim Garrison, the district attorney of New Orleans who investigates the murder of John Kennedy. Sometimes you are expected to disagree (at first) with some of Garrison's presumptuous statements, and when you do there is always at least one character around who will agree with you. Stone realizes most viewers aren't devoted enough to believe everything Garrison says no matter what it is throughout the film. Stone has said that he wants people to "rethink history" and that this film is not guaranteed fact, but an "alternate myth" to the myth that has been presented before. The story is not solid because very few ideas or people or events in life are. What I mean to say is that Garrison's comments are not necessarily ridiculous, it's just a matter of how hard he tries to support them. The focus constantly changes -- yes, Costner will smile a bit when he makes a ridiculous remark that everyone rolls their eyes at, yes, even at the end of the film some clips will be left unchecked, and yes, you will see that there is no way that the question "who killed JFK" is answered as simply, solidly, and, dare I say it, Hollywood-esquely as a one man killing. If you watch this movie looking for real life, without dramatization and without guaranteed entertainment and fun, you will be impressed. This is not a popcorn movie.
And finally a word should be said about the actors' enhancement of the realism of the film. Most notable are Joe Pesci as the frantic David Ferrie who pretends to be a victim but truly (we see) had much more to do with it than he pretends (although convincingly was not an assassin -- he blows the whole thing out of proportion "this is too f*cking big for you, you know that?") and Tommy Lee Jones as the wry ring leader Claw Shaw, who seems to be a pompous upscale member of society that has been doing the dark business of conspiracy behind closed doors. The fact that these characters can appear real to us and not just appear as familiar actors taking on a role (as you might feel in Ocean's Eleven) truly does the film justice in driving it forward.
This is in fact one of my top three favorite movies, but I tend to refrain from mentioning it as just this to my friends-- I'm sooner to mention Memento or Fight Club. The reason for this is that the movie is almost an acquired taste, and certainly not normal entertainment for a teenager. It's honestly written for a generation above me, but everything that makes it (up to and including the "kings are killed" and other political themes) are intriguing to me, and for me anything intriguing grows to be a favorite. Even if the subject is not something that ever really impacted me, I take themes to heart, and I always love a good "enigma wrapped in a riddle."
NOTES: -Maybe a point off for being inconsistent in goal. Though as admirable in a movie as any other characteristic, I found this to be the most restricting on ability to follow along. -Also notable is the fact that it's very release sparked opening of sealed governmental records on the subject.
"JFK" was and remains so controversial that any positive reviews (not to
they were characteristic) it received were dwarfed by the trashing to
it was subjected in the official press, which started well before it was
released. This was disturbing, for what is the big need -- it is just a
movie. But to so many "JFK" was not, it was somehow threatening.
Ultimately, it does not matter whether JFK's conclusion is correct, and I am even willing to give a little more license than I normally would to more-substantive, as well as less-important, inaccuracies, although I have my limits here too. But this movie's significance is just that it was made. For although other films had chronicled the events surrounding the assassination, none had in any substantial way sought to discredit the Warren Commission, as was so absolutely merited.
Regardless of your opinion on what really happened, it is my view that everyone should be critical of the media, which were so obsequious to the Warren Commission. The New York Times from the start referred to Oswald as the "assassin," not the "suspect." Life Magazine altered photos strongly suggesting a shot had been fired from the grassy knoll. Many years later, when being interviewed by Dan Rather about his film, Oliver Stone said to his face, referring to the event: "Where were you, Dan?"
Indeed, in a documentary he made, Rather said, "in the absence of any CREDIBLE evidence, we can only..." This fallacy is a betrayal of the legal definition of evidence, with Rather's poor characterization of the word "credible." There is enormous, indeed endless, evidence contradicting the Warren Commission's view, and much of it is certainly credible, including all the evidence of the Commission's own efforts to conduct a dishonest and incomplete investigation and intimidate witnesses into changing their testimony to support the version it wanted. In fact, I consider it Gerald Ford's greatest character flaw that he served on it and backed its conduct and conclusion, a far more disturbing matter than his pardon of Nixon. Whether the evidence to which Rather referred is CONCLUSIVE is another story; that is up to us, the jury. The sort of smugness Rather shows has been characteristic of much of the media, and I do not know all the reasons they behaved as they did. Thus, we needed a more courageous, enterprising person like Oliver Stone to step in and fill the gap -- the overwhelming majority of people believe the Commission got it wrong.
Stone's enlistment of mere hypotheticals, theorized by Garrison (setting aside the final scene--there were moments before) or whoever, has been subjected to unfair, ill-conceived criticism. Most people who knew anything at all about the assassination believed there were problems with the Commission's version before they saw this film, and came out of it with an elaboration and hypothesis, not a mindbender. Even if we concede that some younger viewers knew little about the assassination, the notion of the critics of "JFK" that the film would automatically program their minds is an insult to their intelligence, of the ability of people in general to think and come to their own conclusions. Indeed, no one to whom I have EVER spoken has betrayed a view of events that reflects even most, if not all, of Stone's conclusions. If any programming is called for, it is to program people against the Commission's version, not, as its defenders would wish, against Stone. For no one can be programmed to accept Stone's alternate view.
OK, some inaccuracies of Stone can be criticized, such as his portrayal of Garrison (All-American Kevin Costner, natch) as a wholesome hero, and the time-between-shots issue (it is now generally conceded that there was enough time, based on all the evidence, for Oswald to have done it, for those who believe he did). Perhaps the speech by David Ferrie never occurred, but it still reflects the widely held view that the CIA and Mafia worked together in this matter. Certainly, many people in the government despised Kennedy, and there were substantially more elements of this hostility than portrayed in the film. Anyway, we can go on and on. The Warren Commission tried to cover up overwhelming evidence that Ruby knew Oswald, that a shot was fired from the grassy knoll, that a dark-skinned man fired shots from the Dallas School Book Depository, and that Officer Tippit was killed by someone other than Oswald (actually, two people). Well, at least some members resisted the single bullet theory (I guess that passes Rather's definition of "credible"), although they ultimately signed the report.
I do not agree with Oliver Stone's specific ultimate conclusion about the central moving force of the assassination. But he has the right to suggest the U.S. government was involved, and many, including myself, think it was involved somehow, but that what is debatable is merely to what extent and how far up. Hats off to Stone for his courage and thoughtfulness in making his necessary statement.
9 out of 10
I have stated many times that Oliver Stone is an incredible film maker
whose films sizzle with excellent cinematography, good acting, and
original storyline. He makes controversial films that are sometimes
unappreciated by the public and the critics. I said and believed all
this even before I watched "JFK".
"JFK" is a film that stars many A-list actors in major and minor roles, but they give deep imprints nonetheless. Tommy Lee Jones, the Oscar nominated actor of the film, gives a performance that I almost missed due to my not recognizing him. Jones plays Clay Shaw, a powerful figure in New Orleans and a secret homosexual who knew about the plot to kill the president. Gary Oldman is fantastic as the widely publicized murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald. Joe Pesci, fresh from his Oscar in "Goodfellas", as Dave Ferrie, a man who is struggling to cope with the heavy accusations and mysteries of the JFK murder. Donald Sutherland in an Oscar-worthy performance, as an informant that talks to Jim Garrison, played wonderfully by Kevin Costner. Other great appearances include Kevin Bacon, Sissy Spacek, Michael Rooker, and even Walter Matthau in a bit appearance.
Many of these fine performances were worthy of Oscars, but if there is one man that deserved an Oscar more than anyone else, it would have to be Oliver Stone, who did not win Best Director OR Best Picture. Who did he lose to? "Silence of the Lambs". While I do consider the film to be an excellent thriller featuring one of Anthony Hopkins' greatest performances, I must say that in terms of scope and daring, "JFK" was a far superior film. The cinematography was far more varied and ambitious, as well as the subject matter itself. I can understand why "JFK" was passed over, but the reasons are not fair to the extraordinary film given to us.
The appearance of "JFK" is astounding. You are taken to a time of much distrust, horror, confusion, corruption, and cover-up. The murders of JFK, Martin Luther King, and RFK all influenced the time periods and the peoples. Many people tried not to think about it, or else they were scared into silence. Some, like Jim Garrison, tried to present the truth of "JFK", and their efforts are being felt even now.
Before I saw this film, I had seen Oliver comment that "JFK" was a movie in which he got all the crazy theories and presented them. He was not implying that everything was true, and some of it isn't true. But after seeing this film, I am convinced there was definitely more to the story than was originally told, as I believed even before I saw "JFK". This gave me a knowledge of the period, and awareness of the people participating in the drama of the time.
The point of the film is not entirely based on the story of the JFK assassination. It is an outcry from Oliver Stone to remind us that truth is never simple, nor is it always presented by the government. People must struggle to find the truth sometimes, and if it is covered up, it could be lost forever. The film is an attempt to show us that the murder of President Kennedy was a time of much confusion and mix-up. So what was true and what was not? Many eye-witnesses gave conflicted views, while other circumstances were strange in their origins and happening. And while he gave us this, Oliver Stone also presented us with the best film that he has yet made, and his resume is incredible as it is.
I have seen the films "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July": films that Oliver Stone won Best Director for. Why did he not win for "JFK"? Why did it only win 2 Oscars? For me, it is another example of how disappointing the Oscar results can be. I urge all to see this epic film of mystery and deceit, of truth and lies, the work of a master film director known as Oliver Stone.
The assassination of JFK has been told in every possible way through every available medium. Oliver Stone managed the unimaginable transforming and almost folk tragedy, through a mix of drama and cinema veritè, into a riveting mystery thriller with the paranoiac style of a man who's in touch with paranoia in a quasi permanent basis. Unnerving, frustrating and spectacularly satisfying. Kevin Costner manages to be convincing as the center piece of the conspiracy theory. We believe the whole damn thing because we see it through his logic. Sissy Spacek, as his wife, represents most us and she does it brilliantly. Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Bacon are a pleasure to watch. Donald Sutherland, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and even John Candy, Sally Kirkland and Vincent D'Onofrio deliver little parts of the puzzle without ever becoming distracting. Gary Oldman is a chilling dead ringer for Lee Harvey Oswald. For film lovers, for history nuts, for pop culture fanatics and for conspiracy theorists, this is a must.
On the field of storytelling, "JFK" reminds of Costa Gavras' "Z", a
political thriller meticulously deconstructing a politician's murder in
a fictional Fascist country. Yet it owes more to Akira Kurosawa's
"Rashomon" which presented one reality from as many angles as levels of
subjectivity. It's interesting that these films, all one-word titled,
were made in the same intervals of time and like "Rashomon" and "Z",
"JFK" is less a name than a code that encapsulates behind the mystery
and the patriotic mask, a more universal truth about humanity.
Still, patriotism is seriously involved and it's very significant that Oliver Stone, one of America's most prolific political film-makers, much more a Vietnam vet, handled the subject of Kennedy's assassination. As a man who practiced America's ideals on a muddy battlefield, Stone is entitled to question these values he fought for and the integrity of the leaders that sent him out there: indeed, why would America send soldiers to fight foreigners in Vietnam? Why so far when Cuba is so close?
Money is the key. There are no warmongers but businessmen who generate money out of all the steel, the guns, the helicopters, the machines that are blown to pieces in Asia. In fact, Stone didn't make a Vietnam and a President trilogy but a colossal oeuvre about Politics and War. And to a certain extent, Kennedy can be regarded as one of the Vietnam War's victims, as a collateral damage: he was against the conflict and got killed before putting an end to it. It doesn't point an accusing finger on the Army, but it highlights at least one serious motive for Kennedy's assassination.
And that's the essence of the investigation lead by District Attorney Garrison, Kevin Costner at the peak of his bank-ability. Garrison isn't satisfied with the conclusions of the Warren Commission that validated the "isolated killer" theory, incarnated by Lee Harvey Oswald (a remarkable Gary Oldman) who conveniently died before his trial. What was his motive anyway? The Commission closed the case, leaving a bunch of altered testimonies, witnesses silenced before exposing their truth and so many unanswered questions. Garrison smells something fishy and who wouldn't? And the compass to guide his investigation is the elementary question: who benefits from the crime?
And this is where Kennedy's assassination takes a sort of legendary aura, playing as a modern version of Julius Caesar. Kennedy could have made a lot of enemies everywhere: CIA, Russia, Cubans, although I wouldn't regard it as an omission, the film didn't even mention the possibility of an involvement from the Federal Reserve Bank since Kennedy always defended the sovereignty of the dollar. But as the film progresses, it gets clearer that Kennedy was a man to eliminate, and one of "JFK"'s highlights (which is saying a lot) is carried by the revelations delivered by Donald Sutherland as Mr. X, in Washington.
There are two levels in "JFK", the mystery surrounding the murder and the investigation, what happened and what is known. And both interact in a masterstroke of editing, probably one of the most complicated, intricate and brilliant ever committed to screen, certainly a school-case for wannabe editors. Literally, "JFK" is served like a salad of documents, flashbacks, excerpts from the Zapruder film, archive footage, memories, truths and lies, shot in every possible way (sepia, 16mm, amateur, black and white) and as Roger Ebert pointed out, the film would have been harder to follow with an unchanging shooting. The salad is rich but digestible.
And like a 1000-piece puzzle, "JFK" is an assemblage of different portions of reality that tend to get Garrison, if not closer to the 'final image', further from the Warren's conclusions. On that level, the film provides an extraordinary cast of supporting characters, from Jack Lemmon to Joe Pesci, from Kevin Bacon to John Candy, each one leading to one certainty: there was a conspiracy. The analysis of the Zapruder film revealed the timing between the first and last shot, making implausible the 'one-killer' hypothesis, even if he's a sharpshooter. And this very implausibility implies the presence of a second person, which is enough to validate the idea of a conspiracy.
And last but not least, there's the excitability of some interrogated people who know that they put their lives at stakes if they talk. The film is driven by a sense of paranoia that conveys its greatest thrills. What can be more emotionally engaging than a quest for truth anyway, especially when it undermines the deepest beliefs of any good citizen? One of Garrison's employees, played by Michael Rooker, can't accept the possibility of Johnson's involvement, even Garrison's wife (Sissy Spacek) represent this side of America that wants to turn the page. Garrison has detractors and it starts in his own private circle, before he becomes a target for the media.
Garrison embodies the struggle of a man who wants to reconcile with America's ideals, he doesn't fight the government because he's against it, but because the government acts against the people. He feels like owing this to Kennedy, to his vision of America, to his sons, and as his investigation goes on, he witnesses the deaths of Martin Luther King, of Bobby Kennedy, and realizes that the system that killed Kennedy still prevails. Garrison's struggle is magnificently conveyed by the sort of inspirational score that only John Williams could have performed.
"JFK" works on every cinematic level, it's one of the best political films and best conspiracy movies ever made because it doesn't try to tell its own truth but to belie a fallacious version. It starts with an axiom: there was a conspiracy, and as long as it won't be solved, there's an emotional wound in America's heart that would never be healed.
Whether you agree with Jim Garrison's conspiracy theory or not, Stone's film
is an effective mystery.
The pieces of the puzzle are put together with great skill so that the viewer is kept involved despite the length of the film. The John Williams score helps to build the atmosphere of intrigue and confusion. Costner is rather bland, as usual, but that works well here since he is surrounded by such an interesting group of colorful characters.
This is definitely a good mystery -- and a frightening one if even part of the conspiracy theory has validity.
Look, the test that Stone had to pass was to present a coherent, cogent case to support all of the skeptics of JFK's assassination. It is worth your time, you will never listen to Big Brother's lying crap about Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged lone gunman, again. It is quite long, I am going to highlight the pieces that will, hopefully, convince you to spend over three hours of your time watching it. The most devastating piece is visual: The Zabruder film. The kill shot from the front, not from behind, is shown to you in slow motion, you can see the president's head jerk back with the entry wound making a small splash followed by the moon crater of an exit wound. Garrison replays it several times, as the mantra goes,"Seeing is believing." If this were the only piece of evidence, your time would have been well spent. It is buttressed with: the pulling of the detail, the slowing of the motorcade by the grassy knoll, the disappearing of all of the eyewitnesses who saw the puffs of smoke coming from the knoll. Even peripheral witnesses to suspicious activity were 'evaporated.' Stone's case requires the movie to be so long, it really only has a couple slow parts. How about that nobody could duplicate the shots of Oswald's old Italian bolt rifle, even military sniper instructors? The impossible geometry of the wound patterns on Connolly and Kennedy is another nail in Big Brother's Crap cover story.
The movie was always attacked for Pesci's overacting scenes that, frankly, are irrelevant to the main thesis: Kennedy was murdered by his own government. For me, the whole sub-story of Tommy Lee Jones and Pesci was interesting but whether it obtains or not is irrelevant. You are watching this movie to make up your mind about the official version. The government had set two deadlines for releasing the information, we came within two years and they have moved it again. Trust me, it will forever retreat, into the misty future, long after we are all gone. The other point of critical attack was Sutherland's character, as a CIA guy, who tells you how it was accomplished. The attacks are silly, even if he was apocryphal, he is necessary to synthesize the information for the audience whom Garrison is a stand-in for. I love,"Kings are killed Mr. Garrison, they always have been." I admire Oliver's main hypothesis: That Kennedy was killed because he saw the folly of Vietnam and was about to withdraw all of our troops. I have always thought this was necessary but insufficient. We must not forget that Kennedy had almost wiped out the planet with the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was warned, by the Soviets, that installing the Jupiter missiles in Turkey would not be tolerated. His putting of the missiles there, in defiance of the Soviets, almost led to nuclear annihilation.
Also, before this, Kennedy had bungled the Bay Of Pigs humiliating the CIA (Never a good idea) by overruling their demand for air cover when the rebels came under heavy assault upon landing. I think the Oligarchs decided that JFK was too dangerous to live and they eliminated him. Cuban assassins were likely involved, that is why the mysterious embargo continued long after the fall of the Soviet Union. Never forget, the Kennedys tried to kill Castro several times. The movie is a bit slow, only at the very beginning, then the evidence begins to pile upon you. The disappeared autopsy notes, the missing brain, the special handpicked pathologists, get ready to discover you have been lied to. For a government that once ordered our soldiers to walk towards a mushroom cloud, assuring them there was no danger, take their flu shots if you wish, not me brother. Stone's critics focus on irrelevancies because they have not a prayer of refuting this Mt. Everest of empirical evidence that the official story is total crap. While I do not share Stone's worship of JFK, his heinous murder, in plain public view, followed by their lying cover story, is a national humiliation. Stone did the country and its people a great public service, this is a masterpiece. Keep Your Eyes Upon Your Public Servants, My Friends. Deus Vobiscum, IMDb. Q.E.D.
"The Natural Enemy Of Any Government Is Its Own People." George Orwell
"I Am Seeing How Much Truth I Can Stand Until It Kills Me." Max Weber
The movie JFK is in effect a who-done-it without telling you who-done-it. Oliver Stone gives us the story of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison in his quest to convict businessman Clay Shaw of conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. However, Garrison's case against Shaw was never strong. Truth be told, I myself am not a believer that Mr. Shaw had anything to do with President Kennedy's death on November 22, 1963. With that said, there are other factors in the motion picture that do offer more than a few redeemable gems. Lee Oswald's very dubious movements in Russia, New Orleans, and Mexico for one. The hostility of the CIA toward the Kennedy White House, and the Agency's involvement with the Mafia to assassinate Cuba's Castro. The highly implausible saga of the Single Bullet Theory, and the strange behavior of Dr. Humes for burning the original autopsy draft. Factor's such as this, to name a few, have put a great strain on the Warren Commission's conclusion that Oswald did it - and did it alone. Criticisms toward the report have been around for years prior to the movie JFK. Yet it was this movie that brought these critical factors to the national stage and a new generation. History NEED NOT say that JFK be the definitive word for the killing of John Kennedy, but the Warren Commission CANNOT make that claim either. The Government went into the investigation into President Kennedy's death with a preconceived notion that Oswald was to be blamed, and the presentation of evidence was to show that end - and that end alone. The Commission was bullied by the Johnson White House to finish the investigation before the 64 election. The "autopsy" that the Commission used to prove it's case was a shambles. The CIA's deception to the Commission on assassination plots with the Mafia on Fidel Castro only adds to the Warren Report's investigative impotence. True, Oliver Stone's movie is a mixture of fact and fiction, that is clear. However, it does illustrate key facts to the case which the Warren Commission failed or refused to cover. That by itself makes the movie worthy of the nine stars I give it. But proceed with caution, dear reader: Be aware that this film, like so many peoples's take on the death of John Kennedy, is a blend of history and opinion. Watch the movie, but also watch your step.....As part of my thesis I also visited the JFK message board where I encountered a very angry group of die-hard lone gunman enthusiasts who appear to be suffering from severe manic depression from years and years of frustration trying to convince a disbelieving world that Oswald did it - and did it alone. Any one who posts anything conspiratorial on the board is immediately subjected to all kinds of verbal abuse and insults. This tactic doesn't seem to be helping them in their efforts to convince the public that Oswald did it, in fact it seems to have the opposite effect, it turns people off of it. I saw some people posting conspiracy theories there just to deliberately try to annoy them. And to add insult to their injury a man who goes by the name of Bill humiliates and degrades them on an almost daily basis using a variety of clone accounts. When I asked one of the lone gunman believers why he did this he simply said "because I have nothing better to do", I thought this was sad, very sad. The lone gunman believers also claim to be atheists and have given up their religions because the scientists who support the lone gunman theory also support the theory of evolution. They also appear to be anti-semitic, one lone gunman believer told me that "the Jews bombed the Titanic." I do not recommend this message board to anyone unless you are just looking for laughs.
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